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Former Michigan House Member Bart Stupak now a Lobbyist

April 12, 2011

(This article is re-posted from OpenSecrets.)

OpenSecrets Blog has previously documented the ease with which former lawmakers and government officials pass through the “revolving door” between public service and the political influence industry, using their insider credentials to land what are often high-paying lobby jobs.

Former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) is the latest congressman to follow the path already set by multiple former lawmakers this year, as The Hill reports that Stupak has been hired as a partner at lobbying firm Venable LLP.

While Stupak had served in the House since 1992, he garnered much notoriety during last year’s health care debate. As OpenSecrets Blog reported, Stupak had fought against abortion rights provisions in the health care bill, but he ultimately supported passage of the legislation.

As a result, Stupak drew the ire of abortion rights opponents, and soon after health care reform was enacted, he announced plans to not seek reelection.

At Venable LLP, the former representative will likely be working with multiple high-profile clients. The firm’s employers include companies such as Lockheed Martin, Marriott International and — as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out — Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

But since federal lobbying law prohibit House members from registering as federal lobbyists until a year after they leave office, Stupak must for now work as a lobbyist only it its general sense — not as one spending much of his time directly interfacing with government officials.

The “revolving door” also spins just as quickly beyond K Street — New York Magazine’s cover story on Wall Street’s post-bailout optimism features a profile on Peter Orszag, the former Office of Management and Budget director who joined Citigroup in December.

As writer Gabriel Sherman notes, Orszag’s credentials give Citigroup considerable clout:

“Orszag’s wisdom about markets is certainly valuable; but even more valuable is his role as an impeccable ambassador for the bank, a kind of rainmaker, but at the stratospheric level. Just about anyone will take the call of a former White House budget director. “He’s a guy who can be effective in a lot of rooms,” one Democratic financier who knows Orszag told me.”


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